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Liverpool vs Burnley Preview

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Liverpool vs Burnley Preview

Last time Burnley made the trip to Anfield they ended Liverpool’s unbelievable run of 68 home games unbeaten in the Premier League. An 83rd minute Ashley Barnes penalty was enough to secure a shock 1-0 win for the Clarets. This loss sent Liverpool on a run of six straight home defeats for the first time ever. Safe to say Liverpool will be out for revenge when the two meet again this weekend. In this Liverpool vs Burnley preview we look at team news for both sides, see what players could be key and predict how the game will go.

Liverpool got off to the perfect start to the new season last week. Three goals, three different goalscorers and three points away at Norwich. Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah got the goals in what was a comfortable win for the Reds.

However, Burnley did not fare so well. Sean Dyche’s side threw away an early lead to lose at home to Brighton. They led the game for 71 minutes after James Tarkowski’s early goal but conceded twice in five minutes to Neal Maupay and Alexis Mac Allister to lose 2-1.

Liverpool will be hoping for more of the same on Saturday whereas Burnley will be needing a much improved performance if they want to walk away from Anfield with three points.

 

How to keep track of the game

The game kicks off at 12:30pm on Saturday 21st August. The match will be televised live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate, with coverage beginning at 11:30am. The game will also be available for BT Sport subscribers to watch online via the BT Sport website and app. The game will be broadcast live on talkSPORT with coverage starting at 11am. talkSPORT can be reached via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM as well as the talkSPORT app. Live text commentaries will also be available online from multiple sources during the game.

 

Liverpool team news

The game against Norwich saw the return of Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez after long-term injuries. This a huge boost for Liverpool’s defence after last year’s troubles. Jurgen Klopp opted for Van Dijk and Matip against Norwich and is expected to do the same on Saturday. Elsewhere in defence, Andy Robertson returned to light training this week following his ankle injury. However, he is still not expected back for a few weeks so Kostas Tsimikas will deputise at left back again.

Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson and Thiago were all absent from the trip to Carrow Road. Henderson and Thiago both returned late to pre-season after going far in the Euros so weren’t yet sharp enough. Jones suffered concussion in Liverpool’s pre season friendly against Osasuna which ruled him out. All three featured in a behind close doors friendly against Aston Villa last Sunday to boost their fitness and are firmly back in contention this weekend.

Klopp is expected to make changes in midfield against Burnley. Fabinho is likely to start after coming off the bench against Norwich likely in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The return of Jones, Henderson and Thiago could see at least one of them come straight into the starting eleven. Up front, Salah and Sadio Mane are likely to keep their places with Klopp debating between Firmino and Jota through the middle.

Predicted line-up: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

 

Burnley team news

Burnley are expected to field a more defensive side than what they played against Brighton.  Sean Dyche always aims to play very defensive at Anfield with the plan being to unsettle Liverpool. There is no new injury news for Burnley. Kevin Long remains out with an achilles injury and Dale Stephens is not yet back from his ankle injury. Other than that Dyche has a full squad to choose from.

Dyche tends to prefer to play 451 against Liverpool and that is expected to be the case on Saturday. Burnley like to crowd the midfield to force Liverpool out wide as Burnley are dominant in the air. Chris Wood is expected to be the lone striker with his hold-up play being key to forming Burnley’s counter attacks. Josh Brownhill is expected to come into the starting xi after being named on the bench against Brighton. Jay Rodriguez is the player expected to drop out after an uninspiring performance last weekend.

Predicted line-up: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, Cork, McNeil; Wood

 

Key players

Thiago could be set for a strong first game back. It is likely Burnley will put a lot of men behind the ball to try and frustrate Liverpool so Thiago’s creativity in midfield could be key to creating chances for Liverpool. Roberto Firmino is another one whose creativity could make the difference. Firmino enjoys playing against Burnley with 5 goals and 1 assist in 9 appearances. Firmino dropping back to pick up the ball will create space for Mane and Salah to get in behind. Nick Pope has man of the match in all three of his Anfield appearances and he will need to be on top form again if Burnley are to take something from the game.

 

Liverpool vs Burnley Prediction

Liverpool and Burnley have met 14 times in the Premier League with Liverpool winning on 10 occasions. Burnley have won twice and there has been two draws. Last time the two met Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners at Turf Moor in May on their way to securing top 4. However, Burnley have faired well on their last two visits to Anfield. Last season’s brilliant win came off the back of Burnley ending Liverpool’s 100% home record in the 2019/20 season. A Jay Rodriguez equaliser earned them a 1-1 to draw in what turned out to be the only points Liverpool dropped at home all season.

Burnley have caused Liverpool a lot of problems on their last few Anfield visits. Sean Dyche always sets his team up very defensively at Anfield allowing Liverpool to have the majority of possession. Burnley will look to create chances on the counter and from set pieces whilst spending the majority of the game defending. This has been a successful formula in previous years but I don’t it will be on Saturday.

There was a vast difference is performance between Liverpool and Burnley last weekend. Burnley will be short on confidence after throwing away the lead against Brighton. Liverpool on the other hand looked comfortable both in attack and defence. I expect Burnley to offer a tougher challenge but Liverpool to pull through and continue their 100% start to the season. The added boost of having a full Anfield for the first time in 18 months will be a big help as well.

 

Prediction – Liverpool 2-0 Burnley

 

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Rob is currently doing a bachelor's degree in sports journalism at Staffordshire University. He is diehard football fan and supports Liverpool. He aspires to be a leading sports journalist/broadcaster in the future.

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